China Bullying Others to Boycott Nobel Ceremony

On Friday, Dec. 10, the Nobel Committee will award jailed Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Peace Prize, as Chinese government officials continue to trample human rights and bully other nations to boycott the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

“It is disappointing that some of the United States’ closest allies including Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are joining China, Sudan, Cuba and Russia to decline this invitation,” said T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA Asia expert.

“If the Chinese government believes that arm-twisting other countries from attending will undermine the importance of political prisoners in China, they are sadly mistaken. The mere fact that Liu is in prison will only amplify the Chinese government’s gruesome repression of its people.”

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In China, there are currently tens of thousands of prisoners of conscience being detained. The Chinese authorities continue to use vague laws governing the use of “state secrets” and “subversion of state power” to arrest, charge and imprison human rights defenders, says Amnesty.

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Under China’s re-education through labor system, around 200,000 are imprisoned – held up to four years without charge or trial. China executes more people than the rest of the world combined.

Liu (pictured above) was seized from his home in Beijing by the police on Dec. 8, 2009, the original launch date of Charter 08, a blueprint stemming from civil society’s calls for fundamental legal and political reform in China.

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Since the Peace Prize announcement, Chinese authorities have held Liu’s wife under house arrest and will not allow her to attend the ceremonies. Also, some of Liu’s supporters have been detained or disappeared.

On Friday, Dec. 10, Amnesty International USA kicks off a “year of action” to commemorate its 50th anniversary, appealing for the release of “forgotten prisoners” worldwide and justice for others whose human rights are denied.

Amnesty International is a former recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Photo courtesy: Nobelprize.org

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